Helping Hands of Vegas Valley, a Southern Nevada-based nonprofit organization serving homebound and disadvantaged seniors, recently hired Mary Rosenthal as assistant director and volunteer coordinator. Rosenthal will oversee the organization’s programs, which include transportation, a food pantry and respite care vouchers, to ensure that HHOVV clients’ needs are suitably met. She will work closely with HHOVV’s executive director to plot the course of the organization’s short- and long-term goals.

Bernadette Kokko serves as Helping Hands of Vegas Valley’s volunteer coordinator. In her position, she recruits new volunteers, conducts training courses and maintains the nonprofit’s current volunteer register by coordinating service opportunities.

Former Miss Junior America, Alexia Vernon, released the book “Awaken Your CAREERpreneur: A Holistic Road Map to Climb from Your Calling to Your Career.” As a speaker, certified coach and trainer, Vernon empowers people to build careers and companies that are successful, sustainable and make a positive social impact. Vernon has shared her knowledge on CNN, NBC, the CW,, and a variety of print media such as The Wall Street Journal and Beverly Hills Times.

Celeste Fierro, partner for The ONE Group, has opened the successful new restaurant, STK at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, a steakhouse geared toward women. Fierro’s roster of high-profile clients and events include parties for Major League Baseball, the National Football League and the Pro-Bowl, as well as events for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and American Express.


Kathryn Damm, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychology at Nevada State College, will be a featured speaker at the 15th annual Healthcare Educator Institute in Ontario, Calif., which seeks to provide 90 educators in California with creative teaching strategies. Damm utilizes technology at Nevada State College to relate material to students’ lives and encourage them to think critically and independently. Damm received bachelor’s degrees in human development, and psychology and doctorate in experimental psychology from the University of California, San Diego. She joined the faculty of Nevada State College in 2008 and has taught a range of courses in the psychology department.

Kathy Hope, co-owner of M&K Heating and Cooling, won Coldwell Banker Premiere Realty’s 2010 Concierge Vendor of the Year Award. The Concierge Vendor program consists of companies screened by local Realtors to ensure quality, reliability and exceptional service and requires each preferred vendor to be licensed and insured for a client’s security and protection.


Lee Papa is the founder of Ganesha Center, Sanctuary for the Spirit, built to offer a place of solace for personal expansion, joy and peace. The center offers regular classes on meditation, yoga and healing therapy certifications as well as healing therapy sessions, coaching, complimentary products, specialized packages and corporate programs for employee personal empowerment. Papa is working to make Las Vegas a spiritual and holistic hub. She is an accomplished Reiki Master teacher and certifies new Reiki students.
Liliana Badd has published her second novel, “Exit.” Born in Romania, Badd graduated from the University of Germanic Languages, in Bucharest, with an M.A. in linguistics. After having lived for 26 years under a communism regime, Badd fled to France where she lived for 20 years teaching English literature and linguistics. In 2000, Badd moved to Las Vegas and started a new career in the medical field. While she has never written any books in her native language, Badd has completed her first two novels in English.
Las Vegas native, choreographer, dance instructor and former performer Lisa Valdes Romero is the director of SMASH Dance Programs of Las Vegas and San Antonio, TX. She is also the creator of Vegas Stiletto Fitness and founder of the networking group, Las Vegas Ladies of Influence. Valdes Romero started the group for women to use their power of social networking to help and support one another and promote women’s businesses. Her mission is to help others achieve their own dreams, inspire them to give back by sharing their talents with others and give them the opportunity to use their energy in a positive manner.

SK+G hired Michele Madole as director of public relations. Madole specializes in developing and executing successful public relations campaigns with her capabilities spanning golf, hospitality, food and beverage, spas, real estate, non-profit and publishing. She brings over 11 years of strategic campaign experience to the agency’s clients. At SK+G, Madole will oversee the public relations division.

Imagine Marketing, a Henderson-based marketing and public relations firm, has hired Nadia Zerka as an account executive. Zerka brings more than 10 years of experience and an Addy Award to Imagine Marketing. She has managed the marketing process for print campaigns, media buys, copy writing, branding, website development, sales promotions and media production. Zerka will be in charge of managing accounts for Imagine Marketing. In the past, she has volunteered her talents and marketing expertise for political campaigns, festivals, conventions, fundraisers, private parties and served on various committees.
Pam Nickels is the owner of A PurrFurred Pet Care Service. Nickels has lived in the Las Vegas Valley since 1984, and was an entertainer/singer/musician and a mortgage professional before opening her company which is licensed, bonded and insured. Nichols offers dog walking, pet taxi to/from the vet or groomer, pet supplies pickup, animal Reiki energy healing sessions, essential oils education and suggested uses for your pets, as well as a wholesale distributor for Premier Pet Products, home of the Gentle Leader and Easy Walk Harnesses. Nickels is a supporter of the Best Friends Animal Society, the Heaven Can Wait Society, Homeward Bound, and the Nevada SPCA.
Renee Roberts is vice president of Fierro Communications, Inc., a full-service communications company providing public relations, marketing and crisis management strategies. She has over 17 years of high-profile public relations experience. Roberts had been a partner with Paragon Communications, a public relations and government affairs agency, and public relations and marketing for Nevada Business Journal.

Las Vegas law firm Bailey Kennedy has promoted Sarah E. Harmon to partner. Harmon has worked with the firm for five years and practices in the area of complex civil litigation, including disputes in such areas as class actions, product defects, tobacco litigation, business torts, and commercial and corporate law. During her five years with Bailey Kennedy, Harmon was an associate attorney. Prior to that, she was an associate with Lionel Sawyer & Collins. Harmon is a member of the American, Nevada and Clark County Bar Associations. She is also on the editorial staff of the Nevada Civil Practice Manual. She received her juris doctorate with cum laude and Order of the Coif distinctions from the University of San Diego, School of Law. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree with a magna cum laude distinction from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
SK+G hired Michelle Schenk as public relations account supervisor. Schenk joins SK+G from Caesars Entertainment where she worked as public relations manager on entertainment, travel, dining, crisis and events. Schenk brings with her more than seven years of PR experience and was the recent recipient of a Public Relations Society of America Pinnacle Award.
Serina Choi, a manager at NV Licensing Services, a Las Vegas-based business licensing firm helping clients navigate the complicated liquor and gaming license application process in Clark County, is a member of the Opportunity Village IT GIRLS, a group of caring women working to support of people with severe disabilities. The organization was founded in 2007 with a mission of delivering a message to the community that replaces fear with understanding and compassion. “Our intention is to spread the word that people with severe disabilities are a gift to all,” said Choi, who was elected in 2010 to serve as Membership Chair. “I got involved because Opportunity Village is a great organization that gets involved in the community and takes a proactive stance on persons with disabilities. It’s about giving back to the community with our time and resources.”
Sumita Barta, owner and entrepreneur of Sumita Beauty, recently opened a store in Las Vegas at Fashion Show, which offers the art of mehndi and art of threading. Sumita gained international acclaim with her artistry and creativity in such publications as Rolling Stone, The New York Times Magazine and Vanity Fair, as well as, television appearances on America’s Next Top Model, Extreme Makeover and Extra! Sumita has styled elite celebrity clients such as Gwen Stefani, Jennifer Aniston, Madonna, Naomi Campbell and Salma Hayek. Sumita is a mother of three and also helps to enhance the lives of women from disadvantaged communities through education and opportunity.
Valerie Miller, a reporter for the Las Vegas Business Press, won four journalism awards from the Nevada Press Association including a first place award for “Best Business News Story.” Miller’s article, with fellow reporter Hubble Smith, on foreclosures and strategic defaults entitled “Dead in the Water,” was named the top business news story. Her piece on a historic landmark, “Boulder Dam Hotel Faces Closure,” received honorable mention as “Best Business News Story.” She also won a second place award for her story, “The Party’s Over,” on the Nevada Legislature’s struggle to solve the state’s budget crisis. Miller’s piece on the job market outlook, earned a third place honor for “Best Business Feature Story.” Miller also won four writing awards from the association in 2009 and was named Outstanding Journalist in 2008.
Wendy Kraft, co-owner of Kraft-Sussman Funeral Services, was recently appointed to the Senior Citizen Law Project Advisory Board. Kraft’s term of office began Feb. 16 and will continue through Feb. 16, 2014. The Senior Citizen Law Project provides free legal counsel to those ages 60 and older living in Clark County. Assistance includes simple wills, advance directives, general and special power of attorney, long-term health care planning issues, landlord/tenant disputes, intervention of elder abuse matters, legal advice, information and referrals, among others.
Denise R. Duarte of D’Arte Designs, LLC is a native Nevadan. She is an artist/sculptor specializing in architectural ceramics and public art in Nevada and was a design team member awarded the 2008 Mayor’s Urban Design Award for Public Art for “Ancestral Gateway.” Her next public art project, Flourish, will be installed along 12 city blocks of the Las Vegas Cultural Corridor and is scheduled for installation for summer, 2011. Currently, she is chair of Stand OUT For Equality, the advocacy arm of The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada. She was founder of Equality Days in 2009, the first officially recognized day at the Nevada Legislature for the Lesbian, Gay, Bi and Transgender community. Duarte also founded the Nevada LGBTQ Leadership Coalition. Duarte is also on the Architectural and Decorative Arts Society board as the artist liaison.
Claudine Kosier, owner of Simply Dog Photography, combines her love for animals and her photographic talent to capture photographs of pets on location and displays as modern contemporary artwork. An advocate for animal welfare, she is involved in various capacities including photographing and networking adoptable animals for various groups and independent rescuers.
Julie Tanner is the manager of the new 7-Eleven at 4620 Russell Road, a 3,800-square-foot store that hired eight employees. The Dallas-based convenience store chain operates, franchises or licenses more than 83,000 7-Eleven stores in North America. Hispanic Magazine named 7-Eleven in its Hispanic Corporate Top 100 Companies that provide the most opportunities to Hispanics.
Imagine Marketing has named Cynthia Carbajal graphic designer. Carbajal is experienced in digital imaging and design layout, illustration, typography and everything in between. Prior to joining the Imagine Marketing team, Carbajal served as a graphic designer for MGM Resorts International, where she designed collateral for 13 Strip hotels and casinos. She earned her bachelor’s degree in graphic design from the Art Institute of Las Vegas and has donated her time and talent to designing materials for local nonprofits such as Be the Example.
Patricia Lee is a partner of Hutchison & Steffen Attorneys, practicing business and commercial litigation. Patricia’s range of experience allows her to manage the legal needs of entrepreneurs and small business owners through the Firm’s program entitled The Legal Solution for Entrepreneurs & Small Businesses. Lee serves as a volunteer attorney for the Child Advocacy Program of Clark County, Treasurer of the Las Vegas Chapter of the National Bar Association and was appointed by Governor Gibbons to serve as Chair of the newly-established Nevada Crime Commission in 2010.